Tom Daley says being a dad-to-be has made him want to end anti-LGBT laws in the Commonwealth
Tom Daley has once again called out anti-LGBT laws in the Commonwealth and said that the upcoming birth of his son has changed his perspective on the world.
Daley made the news on April 13 when, after winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, he called out the number of countries that criminalise gay sex.
The Olympic diver, who has long been passionate about LGBT rights, took the moment to address the problematic legacy of the Commonwealth on equality.
In an interview with Nick Robinson on The Andrew Marr show, Robinson asked the 23-year-old how being a dad-to-be had inspired him to tackle anti-LGBT laws in the Commonwealth.
Daley said that the prospect of becoming a father had definitely changed how he thinks about the world.
He said: “You want your child to grow up having an equal opportunity as everyone else that is born, whether they’re gay, straight, male, female, whatever religion you are, whatever ethnicity you are.
“I think that everyone should have the equal opportunity to do the best you can.”
Daley continued: It changes your perspective on so many different levels. I was on the way home from Australia and there was turbulence, and normally I’m completely fine but I thought ‘I’ve got a little child to look after, I can’t die!’
“The way you think about the world changes so dramatically.”
As well as being a dad-to-be, Daley opened up about another moment that helped spur his activism — sitting with his husband Dustin Lance Black during the Commonwealth Games.
Daley said: “I went for lunch with my husband and I was sitting there with a gold medal at the Commonwealth games and I thought how lucky am I to be sitting with my husband after winning a competition and not being worried about any ramifications or someone being able to throw me in prison.
“To know that 36 of the completing nations criminalise LGBT people so that if I was born in a different country I wouldn’t be able to compete truly as I am, it struck me in such a way i was mortified by it.
“I crafted a little sentence on my Instagram post and that was exactly what I was feeling in that moment.”
In the Twitter and Instagram posts Daley wrote after winning his medal, Daley said: ” ️ 37 of the competing nations criminalise being LGBT+.
“I feel so lucky to be able to be openly who I am without worry. I hope one day every athlete from every nation in the commonwealth will be free to compete openly as who they are too! ️ ”
He later added in an interview: “Coming to the Gold Coast and being able to live as an openly gay man is really important.
“You want to feel comfortable in who you are when you are standing on that diving board, and for 37 Commonwealth countries that are here participating that is not the case.
“I feel with the Commonwealth, we can really help push some of the other nations to relax their laws on anti-gay stuff.”
After Daley’s passionate posts, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson assured Daley that he will continue to raise the issue of LGBT human rights in Commonwealth countries.
Johnson said: “The UK campaigns on its values around the world in the Commonwealth – and in every forum we champion LGBT rights and we fly the flag in all our embassies.
“[I am] not going to pretend that we are going to transform global attitudes overnight.”
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Johnson’s comments come after Prime Minister Theresa May told Commonwealth leaders that the UK “deeply regrets” its legacy of imposing anti-gay laws.
Addressing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on April 17, the Prime Minister apologised for
“I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.
“As the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, I deeply regret the fact that such laws were introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.”
Watch a clip of Tom Daley’s interview below
"To know that 36 of the competing nations in the Commonwealth criminalise LGBT people…if I was born in a different country, I wouldn't be able to compete truly as who I am…it's mortifying" – @TomDaley1994 tells #marr pic.twitter.com/mx768uG60n
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) April 22, 2018